Whether you are an athlete, a worker or a senior citizen, we are all at risk of injury. However, pain relief is not enough to solve the problem. Too often, the injury leaves various after-effects that people do not think about and that can increase the risk of getting injured again, developing other pains or having to reduce their level of activity. The physiotherapist is the health professional best suited to treat you after your injury so that you recover the maximum of your previous abilities. This article presents the different physical qualities that can be treated by your physiotherapist.
Range of motion and flexibility
Range of motion is the ability of a joint to move without abnormal restrictions caused by joint or muscle stiffness. Flexibility is the ability of joint and muscle structures to stretch.
Force is the tension that a muscle can generate. It is used to lift objects, play sports or perform work. When force is generated for a prolonged period of time at a sub-maximal intensity, it is called endurance. Power is the maximum force that a muscle can produce over a short period of time.
For example, a lack of strength or endurance will limit your ability to walk long distances, stand for long periods of time, or do your job. A lack of power will limit your ability to jump or run, among other things.
Joint stability is the resistance of the structure to move beyond what the joint allows.
For instance, following an ankle sprain, stability will be affected. If you do not recover, the risk of a new sprain will increase considerably. Repetitive sprains can damage muscles, nerves and ligaments.
Balance and proprioception
Balance is the ability to control your body so that you don’t fall. It is required in various sports such as archery or gymnastics, but also in everyday life when moving. Proprioception is the ability to know where or how your body and joints move in space.
A lack of balance or proprioception following an ankle or knee sprain increases the risk of injury, for example, when walking on uneven ground (hiking).
Aerobic capacity/cardiovascular endurance
Aerobic capacity is the endurance of the heart to sustain a level of effort.
So, when you are injured, it is important to see your physiotherapist to assess the degree of the injury and to get recommendations on what exercises to do to properly heal all aspects of the condition. This way, you can reduce the risk of getting injured again or of sustaining the after-effects of your injury, which could lead to other problems in the long-term.